Names in the News: October 17, 2021

This bi-weekly series is dedicated to the latest promotions and other news within the fire service.

PAUL HENLEY will take over as the new chief of the Flower Mound (TX) Fire Department on October 18. Henley, the 2021 Texas Fire Chiefs Association Chief of the Year, is a 19-year fire service veteran and spent the last 3½ years as the chief of Corsicana (TX) Fire Rescue. He previously served in several roles for the Garland (TX) Fire Department including captain and was a battalion chief for the Frisco (TX) Fire Department. He recently received the Corsicana and Navarro County Chamber of Commerce’s Tom White Citizen of the Year award and was named Explore Corsicana Magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year.

JENNIFER PORTER will be sworn in as the first-ever female chief of the Norwalk (IA) Fire Department (NFD) next month. Porter has been acting as the NFD’s interim chief since May. She is a 13-year NFD veteran and has served its fire captain since 2016. Porter will be one of a handful of female chiefs working in the state of Iowa.

PAT SHORTER took over as the new chief of the Worthington (MN) Fire Department (WFD) in September. A native of Adrian, Shorter is a 24-year WFD veteran and had worked as the department’s assistant to the chief since 2018. He says his main goals are to develop a succession plan to get younger firefighters involved in leadership sooner and build collaboration with other entities in the community, particularly with city hall, EMS, and law enforcement.

RYAN KUNITZER took over as the new chief of the St. John’s Fire District (SJFD) in Johns Island, South Carolina, on October 9. Kunitzer previously served as the SJFD’s battalion chief and fire marshal for the past five years. He takes over the position from previous SJFD Chief Colleen Walz, who retired from the department after eight years of service. The SJFD serves the John’s, Wadmalaw, Kiawah, and Seabrook Islands with seven stations and 139 full-time staff.

JAMES PELTIER took over as the new chief of the Dalton (MA) Fire District (DFD) on September 26. Peltier had been a full-time member of the Southborough (MA) Fire Department since 1999, serving as a lieutenant for more than a decade. He also has a basic EMT certification. Peltier’s initial goal for the DFD is to step up training efforts. He comes from four generations of emergency responders; his grandfather and father were Massachusetts firefighters and two of his sons now serve as first responders.

To feature yourself or a fellow member in “Names in the News,” please send an e-mail with the information (60-100 words) and a high-resolution photo of the member with the subject line “NITN” to


Names in the News: October 3, 2021

Names in the News: September 19, 2021

Names in the News: September 5, 2021

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